By George Munene
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has announced a plan to invest Sh5M into the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund (UTNWF).
The partnership will help finance small-scale farmers to acquire 50 drip irrigation kits, 500 water pans, and 20 biodigesters. 50,000 farmers will also be supported in carrying out conservation agriculture on their farms.
The selected farmers will be within the Upper Tana catchment areas of Muranga, Nyeri, Laikipia, and Nyandarua.
This forms part of KCB’s plan announced last year to increase lending to the agriculture sector and increase lending to climate-friendly projects to 25% of its total loan book by the end of 2024.
“This project helps support some of KCB’s sustainable development goals; water and sanitation for all, as well as climate action,” said the bank DCA Rosalind Gichuru at the signing of the MOU on Thursday.
Speaking at the event, UTNWF’s Executive Director Emmanuel Rurema said that the money will go a long way to helping the organisation conserve freshwater supply coming from the Tana River which is the source of 95% of Nairobi’s water supply and is home to more than 100,000 smallholder farmers relying on the river for irrigation water.
Agriculture has been the main driver of increased abstraction and siltation, impacting downstream communities, ecosystems, and activities, including reduced water supply to Nairobi, hydropower generation, and water quality.